Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has urged the Nigerians to take regular handwashing with soap seriously stressing that simple act of regular handwashing enhances healthy living more than anyone can ever imagine.
WSSCC in its press statement in commemoration of Global Handwashing Day 2019 stated that handwashing with soap is a simple and effective way to prevent diseases and ensure overall health. In 2018, more than 570 million people promoted the simple, life-saving act of handwashing with soap on Global Handwashing Day.
“Every October 15th, millions of people celebrate Global Handwashing Day through worldwide celebrations, events, and advocacy campaigns. Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership, an international coalition of organizations working to promote handwashing with soap” said the statement.
“This year’s Global Handwashing Day theme, “Clean Hands for All,” follows the year-long push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development agenda”.
“Handwashing with soap is a simple, yet often neglected act. Inequalities in access to proper handwashing facilities and behavior change programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes.”
“To achieve handwashing equity, this year’s Global Handwashing Day emphasizes the need to look to those often left behind and actively work to ensure inclusivity in
handwashing efforts moving forward”.
“Globally, only 60% of the world’s population has access to a basic handwashing facility. Among vulnerable groups, handwashing is a greater challenge. In conflict-affected settings, children under 5 years of age are 20 times more likely to die of diarrhea than violence”.
“Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea in these settings by nearly half. Handwashing with soap is a critical way to ensure health for all”.
In Nigeria, despite the critical importance of hygiene in healthcare and improved education outcomes, statistics estimate that 50% of healthcare facilities lack clean water, 88% are without basic sanitation and 57% lack handwashing facilities with
soap. Similarly, 72.4% of schools in Nigeria lack handwashing facilities (NBS 2018) and as a result, diarrhea diseases linked to the nation’s poor access levels to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) claim the lives of 60,000 children every year.
Global Handwashing Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of
handwashing. The Day encourages action to promote and sustain handwashing habits. Beyond Global Handwashing Day, communities should ensure handwashing
stations with soap are accessible and appropriate, provide inclusive behavior change programming, and advocate for handwashing in policies to ensure clean hands for all.